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4 Fights You Might Have During Your First Married Holiday Season

And real-life ways to get through them fast.

Contributing Writer
Couple Arguing
Photography by: Getty Images

Few newlyweds fight, or even have mild quarrels, about anything related to Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or Presidents' Day. What's there to bicker about? You either go away or go shopping, or not. But end-of-the-year holidays? Those are a different story entirely. Spending Thanksgiving and Christmas (if you celebrate) as a newly married twosome is special. That's why it seems like everybody wants a piece of you, expecting you to visit them on one or both occasions. If you don't have a plan, prepare for battle—with each other. Here are common holiday fights newlyweds have, and suggestions on handling them.

 

The Art of Balancing Families During the Holidays

 

Where to spend the holidays.

This is the biggie, but it's also very common. He wants to be with his family, and you want to be with yours. Maybe you don't want to miss the annual family karaoke session on Christmas Eve, and he doesn't want to miss his family's traditional Christmas brunch prepared entirely by his dad. Keep this word foremost in your mind: Compromise. Go to your folks' place for the singalong Christmas Eve and his clan's brunch the next day. Neither of you get to spend the entire holiday with one family. What if your families live too far apart? Then take turns: One year you go to your family's for Thanksgiving and to his for Christmas, and then switch the next year.

 

How much to spend on gifts.

One of you may like to be extravagant when it comes to presents, while the other wants to be much more frugal. To avoid any hard feelings—or one spouse getting diamond earrings and the other one unwrapping socks—have a chat in November about how much to spend. Give a range, like $75 to $100, or whatever works for your budget and you agree on.

 

Who has to buy the family gifts.

Old stereotypes often get new life when there's been a marriage. Just because you're a wife now, all the gift-buying doesn't have to automatically fall on you. Divide the lists evenly or, better yet, shop together.

 

What to do on New Year's Eve.

Maybe you prefer a quiet night at home with a few other married couples while he prefers to be in the middle of the action at a loud party. What did you do while you were dating? If one of you wants to do something different than what you were used to, don't expect the other spouse to automatically—and happily—switch gears. Again, an every-other-year compromise may be the best solution. Or throw a party on your home turf—you get to stay home, he gets to celebrate with lots of friends.